The Bible Slam: Exodus Chapter 23

This chapter lists some humane and compassionate rules in the beginning, outlines holy days to be celebrated, and then devolves into more calls for violence.

In the first thirteen verses, God and Moses say:

  • Do not make false accusations and be a false witness.
  • Just because the majority is doing something wrong, do not join in.
  • Don't lie to protect a person just because he's poor.
  • If you see that your enemy's ox or donkey astray, return it to him.   If the animal is suffering, help it.
  • Treat the poor fairly.
  • Be honest, and do not kill innocent people.
  • Be kind to strangers.
  • Retire your fields every seven years.   During the seventh year, if your vineyards or other plants are producing, allow the poor and animals to eat from them.
  • Take the seventh day of the week off, and let your servants have some rest.

Three feasts are to be kept:   The 7-day feast of unleavened bread, the feast of harvests, and the feast of ingathering.   Three times a year, the firstborn males are to "appear before the Lord."

The concluding verses talk about an Angel that will be sent ahead of the Israelites to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites who will spread fear and terror and slowly kill them off so that the Israelites can take over their lands.   The people will be slowly killed off so that when the Israelites show up, the orchards and livestock will be tended (if every one is dead, the agricultural enterprises would have died off for lack of care).   The Israelites are to smash apart anything representing these people's religions.

The Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites will get a special form of terror:   swarms of hornets that will kill them off.

The Israelites are instructed to make no covenants with the people whose lands they are taking over, nor are they to respect any other gods or religions.

Quick Tips & Navigation.

  • About the Bible Slam — If you are new here, please read the "about" page to understand the choice of the word "slam" and to read the Important Disclaimer about swear words. We have provided a link to biblical reading without swear words or commentary on the about page, just in case swear words are offensive to you.
  • To fully comprehend the Bible philosophy, we suggest you start at the very beginning and work your way through, other than skipping around through it.
  • {PREVIOUS} Exodus Chapter 22 | {NEXT} Exodus Chapter 24

Discussion Points.

The beginning verses of Exodus 23 (King James Version) are fair and just, but apparently apply only to "the chosen people."   There is no tolerance for others or their religious beliefs by the time we get to the end of this chapter.   The concluding verses appear to be what we call an "occupancy" and "ethnic cleansing" nowadays.

The ending verses are at odds with the beginning.   For instance, there are to be no covenants or tolerance of the people whose lands the Israelites plan to occupy … yet, they are to return and aid any donkeys or ox of these enemies if they wander off.

Exodus 23:14 through 19 describes three feasts, but it is not entirely clear when these feasts are to be held and what their names are.   Why don't Christians honor these feasts anymore?

Finally, the bible states that people cannot even talk about other gods:

23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Skeptics Annotated does a great job describing all of the gods of the bible.

About admin

Scroll To Top